Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Don't ask me - no one is say'n nut'n

Missile launch 35nm at dusk yesterday off LA and the USN and USAF say "it ain't ours .... "

So ..... ???????






I'm open to ideas. My take - someone made an oopsie.

I would think if it was ligit, DOD would say so. Anyone have a link (not a cut and paste) to the NOTAMS in the Whisky areas off LA yesterday? That might answer our question, methinks.

UPDATE: Via DangerRoom, this sounds about right.
“The aircraft is flying towards the observer; the air over the Pacific is clear, so the contrail is visible all the way to the horizon. This creates the optical illusion of a rocket flying up, rather than the actual situation of an airplane flying horizontally,” Pike tells Danger Room. “The object generating the contrail is moving too slowly to be a rocket; the contrail is not expanding as the ‘rocket’ gains ‘altitude’ — which would be the case as the exhaust plume expanding into less dense high altitude air.”
Here is a question I have for the FAA - why on Gaia's Green Earth hasn't someone, anyone, been able to say, "That is Singapore Airlines Flight 1234 .... "

Do you mean to tell me we don't have the ability to know what aircraft are coming West to East towards our coast at certain timeframes? In 2010? Really?

Take off your AFDB folks; that is the story.

89 comments:

AW1 Tim said...

Saw this earlier today. My first take was an unannounced test of an ABM. My second thought was a boomer made an emergency launch of a missile to prevent it from failijg catastrophically in it's tube.

Other than that, I got nothing.  A big damn oopsie, for sure.

prschoef said...

A few years ago a Chinese sub emerged unannounced near a carrier. That had the implication of a warning. Might not this be similar? How deep is the water north of Catalina?

Tregonsee said...

Recently a Chinese sub surfaced in the middle of a US carrier group, cheekily popped off an "I sank you!" flare, submerged and went home.  Any chance that this is the strategic version of that little demonstration?

pk said...

a number of things:

first, vandenburg is about 100 miles up the coast and we (in long beach ca) see their missile contrails quite often.
(like two or three times a week [ ask the malibu surfers they would know])

the launch site for this slbm is right on the firing line for the pacific missile test range.

the sub could be british, french or canadian.

could be a USN boomer shooting a USN missile, which when tracked by the USN tracking range, was shot down downrange by a USN abm.

where are the pearl harbor ticonderogas???

and we know nooooothing.

just like the games we used to play with the russian "Trawlers" 50 years ago.


c

pk said...

the continental shelf drops off pretty fast in that area, plus the interesting fact is that the local carrier group
has been diverted south to hold hands with that cruise ship that caught fire off of mexico the other day.


c

Perry said...

If it was any of those things, I would hope that the military would be saying so.  The cover-up is always MUCH worse than the truth.  

On a ship, EVERYONE knows that you fired a missile.  That was the thing that always cracked me up about about Pierre Salinger's thought that a Navy missile brought down Flight 800.  I knew that that couldn't have happened, because there's no way that the entire crew of a ship is both too afraid to do the right thing AND not pissed off enough to want to take down the Navy/command/LCPO (don't ask me why they think it will bring down their Chief, logic ain't the strong suit of a pissed off BMSA) to go to the press and tell them his ship shot it down.

AW1 Tim said...

I was alwaysed amazed at how MANY secrets we were able to keep. for all the reasons you have listed.

Former 3364 said...

Here's a link:
https://pilotweb.nas.faa.gov/PilotWeb/

Search on KZLA

IANAP but the NOTAM is there and looks like what was posted over at ID

Capt Joe said...

You would think that with a large naval base nearby that someone would know what is going on, even if its the enemy.

Perry said...

Maybe James Earl Jones pressed the torpedo, er missile, destruct button and told the operator, "I was never here" in his Darth Vader voice and used the Force to clear his mind (and that of the rest of the crew) of what really happened.

Robbo said...

I figure the news station called 32d street, and some PO3 on duty said, 'Nope, I don't know about it.'

News report: 'THE NAVY denies knowledge of the incident'

Ken Adams said...

Best theory yet on the oopsie, Tim

ewok40k said...

I've got 2 theories so far:
a) US armed forces accidental launch
b) someone was trying to scare US by popping "we can nuke LA anytime" flare.
I would relegate the latter to the bad movies section anytime before 9/11, nowadays I am not so sure.

mrguest said...

Chinese sub telling Obama that they want their money back?

Redeye80 said...

Stolen former Russian sub, controlled by some bad guys with a demo in mind.  See what we can do!!

Or some boomer CO is trying to figure out how to spell oops!

LT Rusty said...

You can't get a link to this, unfortunately.  Follow the link that Former 3364 posted, search KZLA, and you can find this, though it doesn't cover the appropriate time frame.  It goes into effect today - 11/9 - at 1200 local.

<span>A2832/10 - THE FOLLOWING RESTRICTIONS ARE REQUIRED DUE TO NAVAL AIR WARFARE CENTER WEAPONS DIVISION ACTIVATION OF W537. IN THE INTEREST OF SAFETY, ALL NON-PARTICIPATING PILOTS ARE ADVISED TO AVOID W537. IFR TRAFFIC UNDER ATC JURISDICTION SHOULD ANTICIPATE CLEARANCE AROUND W537 AND CAE 1176. CAE 1155 WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE FOR OCEANIC TRANSITION. CAE 1316 & CAE 1318 WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE FOR OCEANIC TRANSITION. CAE 1177 WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR OCEANIC TRANSITION. W537 ACTIVE, CAE 1176 CLOSED. SURFACE - FL390, 09 NOV 20:00 2010 UNTIL 10 NOV 01:00 2010. CREATED: 08 NOV 20:52 2010</span>


Also, it was reported to me that Fox News had a story very briefly - like for a half-second or so - that this was an unintentional discharge of a US missile.  I didn't see the story, but was told that it went away REALLY quick.  Like, almost instantly.

mrguest said...

In other words, the US military is looking for a hostile submarine off the coast of California. 

Southern Air Pirate said...

No! More like some one had an accidental launch of a weapon prior to a scheduled time and someone who knows something spoke out of turn and the higher ups had to shut that story down.

Anonymous said...

The cartels now boomers to go with their attack subs?
<img></img>

Aubrey said...

The drug cartels now have boomers to go with their attack subs? :)

ShawnP said...

Let's see...................I'm not a west coaster but with my limited knowledge one would think most surface, airplanes and submarines do their missile shots off Hawaii. I know the one most likely to know would be FACSFACSD and whoever shot it. Obviously you can check the Oparea sked, the NOTAM's and yes JMCIS plus the FACSFAC radar tapes of the OPAREA. 

LT Rusty said...

http://www.socalrangecomplexeis.com/Documents/SOCAL%20Range%20Complex.pdf

This looks like a map of the SOCAL range area.  I was Mayport Mafia, so I don't know the west coast opareas at all, but based on the (imprecise) maps shown by the TV stations, it looks like the launch was from just about the northern edge of the oparea, right where the line angles south.

ShawnP said...

A fellow SEALORDER..................all others are haters.

Capt Joe said...

Whatever caused this, some Navy captain is gonna get sacked for this. You can bet on it.

C-dore 14 said...

True story, in '73 when our DE was involved in the Harpoon missile op-eval, one of the early test missiles blew up during firing leaving a section with squibs, wires, etc. in the launcher.  On the way in, we called Point Mugu and asked them to set EMCON in the harbor area so we could clear out the retrograde.  The Base CDO (a URL Ensign) over-reacted and shut down everything, including taxi cab radios, in Oxnard.  No sooner did we get a phone line connected when our CDO (a former enlisted LTjg) got a call from the ABC affiliate in LA asking about the "major weapons accident" aboard the ship.

"Navy sources declined comment".

xbradtc said...

I'm coming 'round to the thinking that it is a contrail.

Marvin said...

what about, the container missle launching system...http://www.nationalterroralert.com/2010/04/29/russian-company-markets-hidden-cruise-missile-system/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+NationalTerrorAlertResourceCenter+%28National+Terror+Alert+Response+Center%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

xbradtc said...

Here's my take on the matter.

Warrant Diver said...

If you are taking a taxi in Oxnard, I hope you are armed with a Harpoon yourself...I lived there for four years and it was a ROUGH neigborhood.

Salty Gator said...

<p><span>Below from Strategy Center.<span>  </span>Behold my UNCLAS, off the cuff, hypothesis:<span>  </span>DPRK R-27 gone amok, or, intentionally misses just to demonstrate a point.<span>  </span>If properly hidden on a ship that is not of DPRK registry, say, with assistance from any number of countries (Libya, Pakistan, Iran, Syria) who aren't big fans of ours or countries that are easy to make shipping modifications in (Greece, Panama, Brazil, Columbia, Venezuela).</span>
</p><p><span> </span>
</p><p><span>The missile looked a little too....dumb.....to be Chinese.</span>
</p><p><span> </span>
</p><p><span>Just my humble .02 off the cuff analysis...</span><span> </span>
</p><p><span> </span>
</p><p><span>Sea-Based Versions. Bermudez also notes that North Korea is also developing "submarine or ship mounted" versions of the R-27. In 1993 Japan's Toen Trading Company arranged for twelve ex-Soviet Foxtrot-class conventional attack submarines and Golf II-class conventionally powered ballistic missile submarines to be scrapped in North Korea. Pyongyang has apparently learned enough, with the probable assistance of Russian engineers, from missile tubes on the Golfs to either refurbish and outfit a Golf submarine with a version of the R-27, or place a newly designed launch tube on a Chinese-built DPRK Navy Whiskey-class conventional submarine. While not inconceivable, this would mean redesigning the Golf missile carrying structure to accommodate the larger 1.5m diameter R-27 missile. These tubes would also need to be capable of forcing out the missile with compressed air, the method used on the Yankee SSBN to launch the R-27. The tubes on the Golf II were capable of underwater missile launch, and thus, would very likely supply the technology needed to tube-launch the R-27. </span>
</p><p><span> </span></p>

LT Rusty said...

Only problem with it being a contrail is that the Pentagon's spokesman appears to have said that it appeared to come from the water, about 35 miles offshore.  He also backed off NORTHCOM's statement that there was no National Security issue.

I can't find any text or video of the Pentagon's statement, though.  That's annoying me greatly right now.

sobersubmrnr said...

Aircraft contrail viewed at an angle that makes it look like a missile launch. I saw one early in the morning over Jax about a week ago. At first I thought it was a launch from Cape Canaveral, but there was an airliner at the sharp end.

Rotorhead said...

Vandal gone bad out of the San Nicolas range. No brainer.

Wharf Rat said...

What worrries me the most is a scud type mobile missle launcher hidden in a container.  That said, if true, reeeaaallly funny if the those who meant harm had a big oops and sent it in the wrong direction.

But - I discount the conspiracy theory and believe it was one of ours.

Question - if it was a BM from a boomer and was launched because it was about to fail in it's tube, I'm assuming the US Military would quickly tell the Chinese and Russians.

Also - would the smoke trail look different between a BM, versus a tomahawk?  I'm guessing a tomahawk is a 'worm burner', not likely going that high up.  Right?

Rotorhead said...

Further analysis of the pics and video leads memore and more to the conclusion that it is an optical illusion created by a weird aspect of a high-altitude jet contrail. Or the mole people are finally here.

pk said...

about the time of this happening i was driving north on the 405 freeway which would put it right  front of me although about 50 miles away. (we see vandenburg lanunches all of the time this way).

it was a clear blue sky with no contrails visable.

this happening was blinded from 60% of the los angeles south east area by San Pedo Hill.

the people that were in a position to see it were

a: super interested in fixing a "drinkiy poo"
b: supremely interested in getting stoned
c: desperately concentrating on the rear bumper of the car in front in an attempt to stay
out of the insurance companies clutches in the contest called "evening drive".

that thing was a high performance launch, we see to many of them from vandenburg to be mistaken.
its just that from the sun position for the time of day it
seems to be going in a very interesting direction.

by the way, every warship from san diego to pearl to bremerton  with an air search radar would have picked it up.

C

SoCal 91 said...

W. Rat,   minus 8 pts. for spelling error:   "missile" has two "i" 's.

  Actually, you're not the only one doing this.

or, as 80 percent of the blog posters would write,

  "your (sic) not the only one doing this".

  Don't worry, your final grade is still an A, since your excellent comment earns a + 6 pt. Bonus.

Final score = 100 minus 8, plus 6,  = 98.

   "you're" post was the best explanation, so far.

LT Rusty said...

The smoke trail, if that's what it is, does closely resemble that of a solid fuel rocket.  The SRB on a TLAM burns out after a short period of time and falls away.  The sustainer motor is a jet engine, and won't leave a smoke trail of any sort.  You can see plenty of videos on Youtube of TLAM launches.  Even if this were somehow a straight rocket powered cruise missile, the launch profile is just all wrong - it wouldn't go so far up.  This isn't a TLAM or any other cruise missile that I know of.

sid said...

Saw very similar vertical looking fat contrails from NASA WB-57s in early September...They made quite a stir on Sept 11.

Videos here....and here

This is what they were up to


Although, obviously, the WB-57s were a whole lot slower in creating them than what has appeared in the little footage available of this event, there are some compelling reasons to consider why this wasn't a rocket, but instead a very high altitude horizontal -or perhaps climbing but not vertically- contrail from a very high speed vehicle.


Ain't the first time odd and curious fast movers have been spotted in that part of the world.

Remember these puppies?

And all the looney talk about this?

Where is this cutey today?

sid said...

To your point about the FAA...

Of course they would....lotsa air traffic in that part of the world that time of the day.

That there wasn't a huge hair on fire stir (I would know if there were-as would anyone who owns a scanner) is telling....

sid said...

As for the NOTAMS....nothing was unusual...Just the Mon-Fri warning area stuff in KZLA...
<span></span>

sid said...

If the give you a certificate error...like alot of gov't sites it does that, but its the FAA NOTAM portal so it views with no trouble.

To see a given FIR's NOTAMS just type the identifies in the window and submit and another window (with a certificate error) will open with the info.

KZLA (and KZOA) for that part of the world...

C-dore 14 said...

Warrant, Our wardroom hangout there was a place called "The Wagon Wheel".

steeljawscribe said...

Unbelievable speculation and just sheer @sshattery on networks as so-called experts expound on the cause. A foreign sub-launched missile? Really? *DONT_KNOW*

sid said...

Or....

It could be them eeeevyl chemtrail peoples....


And it was probably related to this!!!!

OMG!

WE'RE GONNA DIE!!!!!!

AW1 Tim said...

 It obviouslty DOES come from the water, rises up a couple thousand feet, then heads west.  It IS a missile launch from under the surface.

AW1 Tim said...

That was mos def an SLBM. No amount of spin and tap dancing can change that. Time for someone to step up and talk to the hand.

sid said...

AW1....Not so sure....

Check out this site with compelling evidence otherwise...

Also, note the "smearing" of the plume just a few degrees above the horizon...Thats what high altitude winds do to contrails typically.

The odd thing I notices is that in one case a zoomed camera could not capture the planform of whatever was making the plume. I can tell you that something -civil anyway- coming from the west at that altitdue and speed is nearly universally a large widebody...Or perhaps an empty GV or something similar, but those are big airplanes in their own right, which leads me to believe that whatever it was, it was NOT civil, and also very, very high (see the WB 57 stuff I posetd above... they were at Angels 49)...

As for a missile, there is so much civil traffic there, SOMEBODY would have said something, and the airspace closures would have been quick to follow.

Just my .02

Anyway, sky conditions around my neck of the woods may allow me to capture something similar next week

sid said...

Also, note the "smearing" of the plume just a few degrees above the horizon...Thats what high altitude winds do to contrails typically.  

Which -if so- means the altitude was below the tropopause there...which was roughly around 41,000 ft.

Wharf Rat said...

You're right, I messed up on 'missile', I take the punishment - as it was warranted.

Now they're saying, as others, that this was an airliner.  Okay - but if you look at the end of the video, there is an 'orange' glow.  A single orange glow.  I work for FedEx.  I've been around airplanes.  Also - we The only single glow I've seen is an single engine fighter at an airshow making a turn, or going verticle with it's afterburner, the only single engine glow I know of in US Military is - the F-16.

Also - if you look at the development of the contrail, it just looks like a missile.  I've seen rockets and space shuttles go up, and the way the contrail, or smoke billows behind a rocket, is much much different than an jet two engine airliner.  I see jets with contrails over my house all the time, this ain't that.

Again - big worry if the nut jobs shot something off - and it went the wrong way.

LT Rusty said...

Here's what may or may not be an image of the same object, taken from the north, along with some info on the circumstances of the image's taking.

http://www.petethomasoutdoors.com/2010/11/la-missile-mystery-gets-more-mysterious-all-the-time.html

sid said...

But you won't see military flights on there...

The data for all the flight trackers comes from Volpe's ETMS, and all the odd and interesting is stripped out of the publicly availabel stuff.

Also, ( inside CONUS the data is derived largley from radar hits and thus show good continuity) the trackability is spotty to nonexistent outside US airspace....or even US controlled oceanic airspace outside of radar coverage.

This leads to strange things for international flights. Often, the first hits on flights inbound to CONUS are based on the previous day's flight plans and the presented data is totally bogus.

[sid's pedantic rant out]

Surfcaster said...

Its those damn Reavers!

DeltaBravo said...

Sid is informative but disillusioning.  :'(

sid said...

Oh...don't get me wrong DB these systems are better than sliced bread, but they are not a magic eye...Before the advent of ASD's (Aircraft Situation Displays) airlines had NO CLUE where their airplanes really were.

Into the late '90s, it was kinda reminiscent of this era...

DeltaBravo said...

hahaha.  Best use of movie clips all day!!!

I liked to think I was watching real time.  Oh well... So I was maybe watching yesterday's real time...

xformed said...

Well, if it was, the last Prez got hammered for thinking for a few minutes after an act of war came to us one brgiht clear morning.

This Prez, if it was an SLBM launch is still freaking AWOL/UA/At the lunch counter in Mumbai looking for votes....

And he's the one who told us all it takes is "judgment" to be able to answer the phone @ 3 AM...yep...didn't say what kind of judgment, nor if it was 3Am + 1 day, or 2 days, or three days...you know where I'm going.

And the lefties demand the DoD cough up the data...NOW!

Sea Dragon said...

Post 9-11, and with the standup of AFNORTH and the ability to monitor all air tracks approaching or within the US, elimination/verification of an aircraft source would be a simple task.

Perry said...

After hearing that explanation, I can see it could be a contrail caused by an aircraft.

However, the expert quoted talked about it "obviously" being an aircraft, given that the plume would expand in less dense air.

I ain't sayin' it's a missile, but...

it looks an awful lot like most of the SM shots I've seen, and these on YouTube for those who haven't seen one of those:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkLK72fHqm4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsKGTBoIl-I

I also found this, which is of a guy walking right by the aft missile launcher on a CG as the missile is launched:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-H5-A5Uh1U

LT Rusty said...

Okay, the site I linked above appears to be down now.  I saved the picture though ... here it is.  Supposedly it was taken from about 15 miles north of LA, facing south.  Supposed to be the same object.  

sid said...

DB in CONUS the data is as dense as it gets, and generally 2 minutes old or less.

Also, track data can be pulled from that database quite easily.

Just sayin'...

Lastly...As for that movie trailer...And a direct tie in to the eagerly anticipated Retro Wednesdays...

John Wayne played the character of the real life screenwriter who wrote it,  Naval Aviator "Spig" Wead.

sid said...

Lastly, a commercial aircraft that high would not have been going to LAX...And likely nowhere west of DEN given who goes where when...

sid said...

Perry. I've seen my fair share of shots from Cape CANAVERAL/Kennedy, SM shots from  both on board and from ships nearby, and more contrails than I could ever count.

That was a contrail I'm fairly sure. Sure enough to put a paycheck bet on it.

With the limited footage available, I am just real curious about what may have made it.

Some of the available stuff  (like the still in the current Drudge banner) does show what may be a sun glint. Could well be your garden variety 767 full of haoles headed to ORD  or some other east coast locale (one could do the math with an OAG in hand to check one way or the other).


One fuzzy close up in a video suggested whatever it was may have been really small, or really really high.

And that piques my interest...

ewok40k said...

Ah well, regardless of what it really was it is officially an airlplane contrail... move along nothing to see.  For numerologists and conspiracy maniacs, it was 11/9! And 2010 is remade 2001! Consult the Nostradamus!
Really though, btw, I understand FAA is clueless, but doesnt NORAD boast to be monitoring closely airspace over US since, well, 9/11?

Grumpy Old Ham said...

1st AF is oddly quiet -- a search on "missile launch" turns up basically bupkis.  The top story on the "News" link is almost a week old, and it's about their Honor Guard presenting the colors at a local hockey game. =-O

xformed said...

While in HS, used to look to the Western horizon across the Pacific just north of the Equator in the afternoons, and see many white gossamer columns climbing vertically.  About two hours later, the B-52s were on final to land at Anderson AFB.

Something about curvature and all...

AW1 Tim said...

Okay,

  So here is my concern about the whole "contrail" claim. Where I live, on the coast of Maine, I can watch the heavies headed to Europe and back every day. Basically, they lift from NYC and Boston, head north till above Bangor then turn out to sea. That happenes every late afternoon. In the morning, you can watch them headed back overgead. Noy, they are in the 30K+ feet altitude range, and yet you can ALWAYS descern 2-4 contrails from each single sircraft.

  Now tell me, why is there only ONE large contrail on all the images of this "event"?  What aircraft in our or anybody's inventory can produce such a massive single contrail? There are no single-engine heavies working the commercial routes.  They are all multi-engines, and will produce multiple contrails, at least one per each side of the fuselage.

  To my mind, something still isn't right about all of this, and I am not yet willing to buy into the aircraft contrail explanation.

   respects,

LT Rusty said...

BT BT BT

From a friend on another site, who lives in the area.

"<span>I have to tell you that I saw this. I live at the beach in Cali, North of Catalina. I was returning home from work (inland), driving West, so it was in the sky, against the setting sun. I must say that it was big. I was 50 miles inland, and it was very visible. All I can offer is that it was not some kids launching hobby rockets......"</span>

Anonymous said...

Beers on the contrail AW1...

But what made it?

Good good question....

Anonymous said...

<p> 
</p><p><span>they are in the 30K+ feet altitude range, and yet you can ALWAYS descern 2-4 contrails from each single aircraft. </span>
</p><p> 
</p><p>Won't dispute that one bit....its what I was alluding to below.
</p><p> 
</p><p>BTW AW1, if you are interested in that daily eastbound "NAT" traffic every afternoon...they are getting planned as I type.
</p><p> 
</p><p>The routes are pegged (with a few exceptions) to the North Atlantic Track structure, which changes daily to take advantage of the winds.
</p><p> 
</p><p>You can find the daily "NAT tracks" here.
</p><p> 
</p><p>Westbounds are active from 1130z to 1900Z with a period when there are none in effect -we call it the random route period- for a traffic lull (folks travel by local time), then eastbounds start at 0100z to 0800Z 
</p><p> 
</p><p>As for the traffic overhead you see in the afternoons, they are on the way to join these tracks via "NAR" routes also issued daily.
</p><p> 
</p><p>You can find today's here
</p><p> 
</p><p>Should be a fair amount of west(southwest)bound traffic overhead you right now.
</p><p> 
</p><p>Which makes your point about the remarkable aspect of that mystery plume. If it were usual air traffic, longhauls pretty much cluster into a tight altitude range because of the winds (note the 1000 ft RVSM altitudes on the tracks; you feel like you are on a freeway at rush hour out there), so it is VERY odd there are no other similar contrails seen.

</p><p> 
</p><p>Some explanation for that is it was past the scheduled rush like you witness over your house....but still...Right odd. 
</p>

sid said...

sorry that was pedantic me

sid said...

sorry that was pedantic me

Today's NAR tracks to join the eastbound tracks this afternoon...

DeltaBravo said...

Why do I get the feeling that air traffic is very dear to your heart?  hahaaha.

sid said...

it pays the bills DB  8-)

sid said...

To your point about the characteristics of the plume at its origin...

This airborne shot of an A340 makes it well.

LT Rusty said...

You can, however, still distinguish 4 separate plumes for most of the length of that trail.

Sid, did you take a look at that picture I posted?  I'd like your thoughts on that, compared to what you see in the CBS video?

LT Rusty said...

Okay, here's a possible - and seemingly reasonable, on the face of it - aircraft explanation.

http://blog.bahneman.com/content/it-was-us-airways-flight-808

Of course, you've also got the Editor of Jane's disagreeing, saying that it's absolutely definitely a solid-fuel rocket.  

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/11/10/earlyshow/main7040379.shtml


So, who the hell knows?  I'm wondering, though, why the FAA / NORAD / whoever didn't just come out and say 'well, US Airways 808 was in that area and is probably what y'all were seeing' yesterday, though.  They had all the information presumably at their fingertips ...

QMC(SS) said...

That first link is pretty compelling evidence with absolutely NOTHING to contradict it.  I'm sold.

QMC(SS) said...

AWE808 is a Boeing 757-200.  Only about 30-ish feet between the engine nacelles.  Kinda hard to pick out 30 feet of separation at 30-plus miles.  With the engine nacelles that close to the fuselage, the contrails are likely as not going to merge into one in the slipstream.

sid said...

Not knocking the AWE theory...it makes sense...the footage isn't the best.

As for not being able to see the separation in a 757 contrail...most often you can in an airceraft that size at normal altitudes...

DeltaBravo said...

Another geek that likes Flightaware!   :)

sid said...

it is compelling...but as mentioned the FAA seems kinda cagey...and still not entirely sure about the aircraft size given the meager and not best quality footage available

It is the most plausible explanation though

Wharf Rat said...

I looked at the footage again - at the end of the footage you can see a single orange glow.  It's not a reflection, as the sun is from the other direction.

I question whether a B-757 200 series can make that plume or that glow.  Also - I've seen contrails at altitude.  The LA Aircraft come over MSP as they head to Europe.  You can see two contrails coalescing into one at altitude on two engine, you can see larger coalescing into one for 4 engine aircraft.

The other comment - if this is a flight #808 out of a west coast airport, will it get to that alititude fast enough to make a contrail that's visible like this - that close to land.  I don't usually see contrails from an aircraft as it heads up to crusing altitudes like that.  It looks like a bat out of he$$$, and I'm having a hard time buying that this is commercial lift.

I live 40 miles from (north and east) MSP and we get multiple types of aircraft ascending and descending, including a daily B-747 400 heading to Amsterdam.  And I will see the other 400 series desending when I'm around comng back.

Not buying it.

Wharf Rat said...

Also - in the early part of the video an aircraft is seen at lower altitude.  I'd like to ask the pilot what he thought.

Also - if you stop the video at that part, it looks like a CH-46 or CH-47.  If you look closely, it looks like there are two props spinning over it, not in front of it. 

I'd like to ask that crew what they saw.............just sayin'

LT Rusty said...

AWE808 wasn't out of a west coast airport.  It's a direct flight from Hawaii to Phoenix.  It would already / still be at altitude there.  It's not climbing or anything.

I noticed the glow also.  That's one part of why I'm still not - quite- sold on it.



You know, though, looking at the video, I wonder if it would be possible to estimate speed ... we know more or less the altitude that 808 was at, and how fast it was going ...  I wonder if I could rig up a simulation of it in Lightwave ....

LT Rusty said...

This looks to be the raw video that the CBS helicopter shot.  Interesting bit towards the end ... some people are saying that this looks like a second stage on a rocket firing.  You can see a little bit of whatever caused the trail.

http://www.necn.com/11/09/10/Mysterious-missile-launched-off-Californ/landing_scitech.html?blockID=348833&feedID=4213

Casey Tompkins said...

Insufficient data on distance to subject, lense used, focus used, etc.

AFAIK all the images of the "missile" are screen caps from video cameras or consumer cameras. I don't doubt a tracking camera at Edwards or Cape Canaveral would show more detail than someone's pocket Sony digital camera.

Casey Tompkins said...

Again, sid, that's a fairly close-range shot. Compare that to the distance for the Nov 8 shot. Also note that even in the A340 image you linked, the contrails merge a few hundred yards aft of the aircraft.

Casey Tompkins said...

So, Tim, you're gonna tell me that this is also a missile shot? Or this? How about this? And this? Maybe this one, off Boston?

Here's one from the flickr page I mentioned downstream. And another. Here's one that's obviously an aircraft, yet still demonstrates the visual characteristics of what has been termed an "obvious" missile launch.